Gift Giving

The “Proper” Way to Give Someone a Gift

A Few Commonly (and not-so-commonly) Asked Questions….

Face it: That “special occasion” quickly approaches, your personal budget remains drastically limited, and every other idea for a great gift has already been taken! You’ve either already given the gift you just had in mind, or someone else has just beaten you to it. You are at your wit’s end. WHAT DO YOU DO ???  

Or perhaps the circumstances ask for a different kind of gift. Either way, time is running out: You’ll meet with this person, or people, tomorrow, and wish to fully show your alacrity. Help???

“What’s the perfect gift? Does that even exist? How does one go about finding it?”

Believe me. We’ve all been there, at one point in time or another. I hear your cry of frustration and fully empathize….

So hang on. The best is yet to come. But start with the following…..          

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Instead of plucking your hairs out one by one, which is never good, read the following starter tips that can potentially point you in the right direction. Yes, they are real-life scenarios given by people with real-life experiences, in real-life situations ----- we’ve all given a gift to someone before, haven’t we? So take some of our most effective, proven advice that should hopefully yield numerous beneficial results, just as it has for us.         

The Questions: 15 to Whet Your Appetite & Stimulate Further Thought….

1. Do I give a gift to someone I usually don’t give a gift to?

What can I say? It happens ---- let’s suppose those family members of yours who never visit suddenly decide to do so at this year’s family Christmas gathering. Don’t overdo it and give a gift to every single person, if you can’t afford to, but perhaps 2-3 general presents left under the tree may not be a bad idea? And if you can, try to push for Secret Santa giving this year, in which you only need to buy one present for one person.

2. How about an intangible gift this time around?

If finances are “tight”, then perhaps this could be the opportunity to give in another currency ----- physical affection, an act of service, kind words, or even a touching postcard can all go a long way. Diversify. Give what you can. And remember that the  greatest gift of all is love, one that will never lose touch or fade with the times. After all, everything else will eventually pass away, but love will never pass away. (I Corinthians 13)           

3. Should I give something that I’d like to receive?

Putting yourself in their shoes….what would you want to receive as a present, if you were in the spotlight? Now, based on how much or how little you know of him/her, what do you think he/she would like to receive? What gift could benefit their personal, spiritual, financial, romantic, or emotional life best? Treat others as you’d like to be treated; it’s called the Golden Rule for a reason….let’s keep it and see what happens…..

4. How do we adjust our giving to keep up with our age?

Traditions change. People change. Get with the times! In other words, as it applies in this situation, do find a way to keep investing in your relationships by staying current with their latest interests and goals. Give in a way that promotes the best of both.

5. How do I get a great gift for a friend’s newborn or child?

Show your friends that you care about this phase of their lives. And offer your continual support as well. You’d be amazed what such a seemingly little gesture can do….

6. What if I’m attending several parties?

You do not have to bring gifts for each host. In fact, once again, try mixing it up. Buy 1-2 presents for a couple parties, of which you’ll attend the longest, and perhaps prepare a dish as your present to another party, and your very presence as your contribution to yet another party, etc. There’s many ways to give…bring a joke as your gift to another party; hopefully, if it’s good enough, your joke will be all they’ll remember throughout the evening.

7. Should I ever give against my own personal convictions?

Let’s say your friend, business partner, or whoever it may be, unexpectedly requests a donation from you that’ll go to support a cause in violation of your values. Tread carefully. First, hear him or her out, as a gesture of respect, especially if your relationship is close and long-standing, and then kindly express your respect for their efforts while letting them know you are already committed to other causes which you follow more closely….this will let them off the hook easily, a better alternative to entering a politically heated discussion, which will only invoke tension and possibly disappointment on both ends. If need be, kindly agree to disagree on the matter at hand.

8. Can a gift card be seen as a major insult?

It depends. Some see it as lack of effort or interest in choosing something yourself for that special person. Others see it as you valuing their freedom in letting them choose whatever they’d like to get. Try and see the reaction with this first attempt; if not as expected, don’t repeat next time. Keep it simple….    

9. How about cash? What does that imply?

Is a cash gift a ‘tacky’ gift or an ideal one? Again, this question applies itself in much the same way as the last one did. Try it, and see if it sticks. If not, then please do the person (and yourself) a favor and don’t repeat. The one advantage that gift cards have to cash, however, is that they are more specific in where you may use them, usually. This helps the receiver by giving him or her limited options as cash itself is too general and can be used anywhere, anytime.

10. To DIY or Not to DIY? The Question of the Hour….

Make no mistake: a properly pieced, DO-IT-YOURSELF solution can also be desirable, as it not only saves you money, but can also show the other person/people that you have genuinely invested your valuable time in preparing a personally crafted gift. And, it’s something you can feel proud of all at the same time. How about something environmentally friendly, in which case, everyone wins? Get creative!

11. The Gift of Yourself: A Gift That Keeps on Giving….

Give your undivided attention. Give your sincerity. Give your early arrival as interest in the other person. These small displays of affection are too often overlooked and underrated for all their worth.  

12. No “Perfect Gift” Sometimes?

Wing it: When all else fails, you have your own clever wit to fall back on, and sometimes, that’s all you need. A little bit of last-minute put-together can go a long way at the right moment, so look to a nearby store for plenty of ideas; you can even put together a last-minute care basket for the person you wish to honor by adding to it bits and pieces of sugar, spice and everything nice ---- or in other words, every good element under the sun. There’s bound to be something in there that they like and can use. Don’t be too hard on yourself trying to find “the perfect gift”, as if that were a real thing ---- sometimes there’s beauty in the imperfection and mystery of it all. So don’t feel like you need to “have it all figured out”....

13. Giving Generously?

A glad giver is a generous giver, and only the greatest book ever written has said it time and time again. It must be for a reason, then ---- it’s true. With this said, if you wish to give several gifts for the same person or people, and you can presently afford to do so, then who is to stop you? Give what you feel led to give, and maybe a little more….

14. How ‘Bout Some Brainstorming’?

Some careful thought and planning can go farther than you expect, even in the very sensitive arena of gift giving; which architect, for instance, ever built a towering skyscraper without first sitting down and counting the cost of it, its essential blueprints and all else required? It’s the same with brainstorming ----- think of everything you’ve ever given this person as a gift, or not given them as a gift, everything they’ve ever bought for themselves, their personality and tastes, their habits, and all else you can conjure up. Put that creative brain to work!

15. A Gift Package, Perhaps?

What greater way to show some true appreciation than by going “out of your way” with a jumbo package? It’s savvy; it’s smart; it’s unexpected. And it gets the message across: that you want the other person to have the best through a bit of everything. Why not put something together yourself, as well, if you want to add a more personal touch at the end? Options abound, friend, so consider this another personal invitation to get in touch with your creative side.           

Final Thoughts on All This ‘Mumbo Jumbo’:

Don’t Stress, Pray Instead, Give from the Heart, and More….

So consider those 15 pieces of proven advice the next time you find yourself in a “present pickle”. And remember to look up: The Good Lord has an answer for everything. So worry about nothing, and pray about everything; you will find that perfect gift. Believe it, and you’ll receive it (actually, the other party will actually do the receiving, but you get the idea). All good things do come in time, and from the Father above, the true Giver of all gifts everywhere, the source from which every great present first originates.                  

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About the author:
Efrain E. Silva is an avid freelance writer and an even more avid “weekend outdoorsmen” and “water sports go-getter”: He works hard but plays even harder, firmly believing in the proper balance that should remain between the two. He is whacky and adventurous when the time calls for it, never afraid to pick up a pen (or keyboard) and put the adventure on paper as well. Find out more by visiting his blog right here.


[Need some great ideas to get your summer “kicked off” in the right direction? Check out our latest 2018 Summer Challenge, a place where you can get a few inspirational ideas ---- not failing to bring some encouragement to your day all along the way ---- helping you make the most of this wonderful season. It only comes around once a year, so take advantage!]

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